Drummers / Percussionists
Drummer Cafe 20th Anniversary
  • Subscribe
Pin it

BIOGRAPHY

Peter Criss

Peter Criss, born George Peter John Criscuola on December 20, 1945 in Brooklyn, New York, is an Italian-American drummer and singer, best known as the original drummer for the legendary rock band, KISS.

Criss established the "Catman" character for his KISS persona.

In 1973, Peter Criss formed a trio with fellow New York City musicians Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley who, with the later addition of Ace Frehley, would become KISS. When the bands fourth album, KISS Alive!, hit the scene, KISS began it's ascent to rock n' roll domination. Followed up by the mega-smash album, Destroyer, KISS fans were treated to an unlikely hit in the form of Beth. Initial sales for Destroyer were slow until radio stations started playing Beth, which was originally the B-side of the Detroit Rock City single. Written and performed by Peter Criss, Beth set aside the drums and guitars of the bands typical sound for piano and a string section. Beth went on to become KISS' highest charting single landing at #7 on the Billboard Hot 100 Chart and was awarded a People's Choice Award. With Beth, Peter Criss opened the door for drummers to come out from behind the drum set and fearlessly show their musical talents as songwriters and singers.

After numerous world tours, platinum albums, and KISS merchandise, Peter Criss left the band in 1980. He later embarked on a solo career that led to the release of Out of Control, Let Me Rock You, and most recently One for All, which land at number 35 on the Indy chart.

By popular demand, the original lineup of KISS reunited in 1995 for the years most successful tour. The Reunion Tour was followed up with the Psycho Circus album and tour, and finally the Farewell Tour. After the Farewell Tour, Peter briefly re-joined the band and appeared on the KISS Symphony: Alive IV album and DVD.

In 2012, Peter Criss released his autobiography, Makeup to Breakup: My Life In and Out of Kiss, which gives an up close and personal view of everything from his NYC upbringing, his bout with cancer, music, life, love, and all things Catman! Makeup to Breakup broke the top ten on the New York Times Best Seller list, landing at number seven.

On April 10, 2014, Peter Criss was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as a founding member of KISS. The Hall of Fame induction celebrates the original vision of KISS and the decades of influence and inspiration that Peter Criss and KISS have had on music and pop culture.


VIDEOS

 View Calendar Event